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Lions face Park View with title, top seed on line

The Halifax County Middle School baseball team pounded out 10 hits, including a home run by Arthur Watts, and Lions’ pitchers Jake Hughes, Kelonte Gutrich and Tanner Bennett combined to hurl a three-hitter in a 12-1 win over Bluestone in five innings at home Monday.

The win gave Halifax County a 6-2 record in the Southside Middle School Conference and an 11-2 record overall.

The conference title and a number one seed in the upcoming conference tournament is on the line Wednesday when the Lions host Park View, and his team seems to be peaking at just the right time, according to Head Coach Jody Nelson.

“We played better yesterday than we have in a while,” said Nelson.  “We hit well and played stellar defense behind Jake, Wink, and Tanner.  I think the guys are starting to buy into the approach to the game that I (and my staff) have been trying to teach.

“Hopefully, the bats will get hot this week and we can go into the tournament as the No. 1 seed.” 

Watts added a double, Gutrich had an RBI single, RBI sacrifice fly and base hit and Hughes added an RBI sacrifice fly and double to the Lions cause, while Kavon Fitzgerald hit a two-run single and Tyler Duffer hit an RBI single.

Evan Irby slugged a double and Tylik Powell and Brayden Moore each added a base hit for the Lions, who scored five runs on five hits in their first at-bat, keyed by RBI singles from Gutrich and Duffer and a two-run base hit by Fitzgerald.

A Hughes double and sacrifice fly by Gutrich along with a walk and Bluestone error made it 7-0 after two innings, and a single by Powell, RBI sacrifice fly by Hughes and homer by Watts hiked the Lions’ lead to 9-0 after three frames.

A walk and Lions’ error gave Bluestone a run in the top of the fourth inning, but Halifax added three runs off a base hit by Moore, double by Watts and Bluestone errors in the fifth inning to end the game.

Hughes gave up no runs on two hits while striking out five batters and walking one in three innings to get the win.

Gutrich allowed one run on no hits, while striking out one and walking two in one inning, and Bennett allowed no runs on one hit in the fifth inning.